Getting a horse to use its engine (aka, butt)

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Getting a horse to use its engine (aka, butt)

This is a discussion on Getting a horse to use its engine (aka, butt) within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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    10-13-2010, 05:14 PM
Getting a horse to use its engine (aka, butt)

I observed a trainer continuously telling a girl to get her horse moving off its hind end. The horse was bending its neck at the 3rd vertebrae instead of breaking at the poll, and it was VERY heavy on the front. Then she told the girl to stop, back the horse up, and then quickly (before the horse had time to stand still) ask it to move off in a trot. She called it "Sling-shotting". I'm guessing the desired effect was for the horse to put all its weight on its butt with the back-up, then automatically use its hindquarters to push off and drive from behind...? Seems like it would only work for the initial take-off.. I've done something similar when teaching horses how to pivot over their haunches, but never for forward movement.. Wonder if it works? I didn't get to see the results of the lesson, so I don't know.

Has anyone else ever seen this? What methods do you use to get your horse driving from behind? I'm sure there's a thread about it somewhere but I was just wondering if anyone's ever done this particular thing. I'm reserving judgement till I get some second opinions.
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    10-13-2010, 05:17 PM
We use half halts to rebalance, but i'm interested what this post comes up with.
    10-13-2010, 08:03 PM
Yes that method in theory makes the horse push off with his hind legs, but if the door is shut up front by overly restrictive contact, it all falls apart after a stride or two.
    10-13-2010, 08:24 PM
Half halts every second stride until the horse is light. And nice light hands, and good active legs. I don't mean kicking the horse every stride, but just a whisper of a touch every time the horse looks to be coming down on that forehand. I don't worry about where their head is as long as they are working from behind - the head will come of it's own.

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